Two farmers appeared in High court on Thursday, accused of attempting to extort money from a billionaire.
The farmers were reportedly trying to extort money from brothers Luke and Brian Comer. The brothers are directors of Sainfoin Property company. The claims of extortion were made by the Comer’s counsel after he successfully had an injunction against the property firm.
The farmers involved in the case are Rory Bridgette and Albert Murphy. Bridgette lives in Sandy Hill Way, Ballymun, while Murphy lives in Furry Park, Cloghran. The pair of farmers were granted the injunction against the firm on Monday, after allegations of bullying and intimidation were made against agents of the property firm.
The battle was over a 5 acre piece of land at Turnapin near Dublin Airport. The farmers say they use the lands for their horses to graze on. The case appeared before the High Courts on Thursday, with the court's finding no evidence of the claims of intimidation and bullying.
Counsel for the Comer brothers said the farmers were only looking to extort money from the bothers and said Mr. Bridgette had told a company representative that he wanted compensation for the land. Mr. Hayden, Counsel for the Comers, said the property belonged to the Property firm and said the farmers were in fact trespassing. He said the farmers had no right to the lands as it had been purchased by the firm as part of a deal made in 2014.
The judge ruled to discontinue the injunction, as she felt the evidence supported the Property company’s claims. The Barrister for the farmers, Mr Michael Ronayne, said the farmers acted on communications they had received on behalf of the Comer brothers. They were allegedly told to remove their horses and ponies from the land.
The farmers also claimed that the firm had dumped mounds of soil at the fields entrance to prevent farmers access. They also claim locks on the gates had been removed and even claimed that fence posts had been removed and one horse taken to a local pound.
The farmers will reappear before the courts, with a date to be decided at a later date.